Feb 2, 2013

Butcher vs Grocery Store

Think about the meat you eat and where it comes from. I fished for trout, bass, walleye, and even perch growing up. Hunted whitetail deer, small game, ducks, and pheasant (my favorite). I learned from my grandfathers and father how to clean game, filet, and butcher it by hand to provide dinner for a family.

In today's day and age, not as many people do it, they just "run to the store." Find a local butcher shop. Most modern butchers have all of the things mentioned above, fresh, organic, and are willing to wrap up the amount that you want. How much more organic can you get than by getting it from nature and not from a company that "prepackages" the product? Do you get to choose the amount you purchase?

True butcher shops have given way to having a "deli" counter in the grocery store. The deli makes it appear as fresh, offer a lower cost than pre-packaged, but to be honest, it is all similar, and most of the deli offer is sliced pre-packaged meat. A common phrase butchers have started using is "those that can't butcher, go deli." I watched the receipts from my last grocery shopping, priced it out with the local butcher and I would have saved $12.30 if I bought it from her. And, she runs "specials" every month which end up being less expensive than the grocery store.

But the key thing here is about "nutritional content." Fresh meat from a butcher is a heck of a lot lower than the "manufactured, processed, packaged" ones that you get at a grocery store. I'd rather have quality and nutritional availability than worry about all of that. Plus, I can purchase a smaller amount, saving a few dollars.

Gibbs Butcher Block
Another strong point to make, is that you can NEGOTIATE or BARTER with a butcher. If you desire a specific cut or trim, they'll do it; a grocery store won't, you get what you get. I am fortunate that I have a butcher shop nearby... find yours. Another benefit of a butcher is that they get their meat from local farms. I am fortunate that I can get fresh fish from Lake Erie, local beef, local turkey, local bison, and local pork. Ever have a cut of bacon from bison? Try it is you can. They also make over 200 recipes of home-made bratwurst. They hire county sheriffs on the weekends to direct traffic, that's how busy they get.

Spring is coming, so you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be out in the streams and fields... rod and bow in hand...

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